Friday, June 4, 2010

Blood Tests for Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a little confusing. Hemoglobin and hematocrit are the two most common tests for this kind of anemia but they really don't tell the full picture. Instead, a full iron panel can tell your physician more about what is going on in your body. Here's a look at what a full iron panel tests for:
Hemoglobin (Hgb) – is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body’s tissues and carbon dioxide from your tissues to your lungs. Low levels of hemoglobin indicate that the body has a reduced capacity to carry oxygen throughout the body.

Hematocrit (HCT; or PCV, packed cell volume) – this measures the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. So for instance, if your HCT is 40%, this means that 40% of your blood volume is composed of red blood cells.

Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) – bed blood cells are your oxygen carrying cells. A low RBC signals anemia.

Transferrin – a transport protein that carries iron. If a person is iron deficient, transferrin levels will be high.

Serum Iron – measures the quantity of iron in the blood that is bound to transferring. Serum iron levels are low if you are deficient in iron.

TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity) – measures your body’s ability to transport iron. If a person is iron deficient, their TIBC will be high.

Ferritin – measures your iron stores in the body. When your blood levels of iron drop, your body can pull iron from your ferritin. Lower levels of ferritin signal iron deficiency.

No comments:

Post a Comment